Death's Not So Bad
I still remember hearing Bro. Bert Tippett preach a message on this passage of scripture many years ago now. Little did I know at the time that I would be privileged to have his son as my partner in ministry, nor did I know that I would be treated to a front row seat as this man of God showed all of us how to live and how to die with confidence. I truly believe Bert exemplifed this passage. He accepted God’s order and submitted to God’s will. He knew humility was the means to God’s grace and he walked in humility. He never questioned God’s control nor his goodness. Even though I am sure that there were times of discouragement as he battled cancer, there was this sense of purpose, calm and even joy through it all.
After his funeral a couple of weeks ago, as I was getting ready to leave to come back home, I called Bob Bass, one of our members here, who was getting ready to have by-pass surgery. He told me that a few months ago, he had a conversation with Bert at Western Sizzlin. Bob said that he sensed that Bert was excited about getting to go and see Christ.
When Bro. Mike Gladson preached part of the funeral, he told us about his last conversation with Bert. He said that Bert motioned for him to come closer and he whispered in his ear. “Mike, this dying thing ain’t so bad.” Wow! Those are the words of a man who has cast all of his care on Jesus because he knows that Christ cares for him.
You see, that’s really the definition of submission. I’m no longer struggling to make things come out my way. I’m no longer laboring under the illusion of control. I don’t have to try to be in control because I truly know Who is: God! And since He is in control, I don’t have to be. I have surrendered. I have submitted and as a result, I am receiving His grace.